I met Ki Sung-yueng. He’s on the verge of making his 200th appearance for his current club, FC Seoul, so I wanted to take a short trip back in time. The trip was not only to the past, but also to the future.
He will complete his 200th appearance in a Seoul jersey when he plays in the 30th round of the K League on Sunday against Gwangju FC. Ki Sung-yueng, who reached the 500-match milestone in his professional career last July, has played about 40 percent of those games for Seoul. He played 93 games for Seoul before moving to Europe with Celtic FC in early 2010, reaching the 100-cap milestone upon his return in 2020, and is on the verge of reaching the 200-cap mark three years later. (*When he plays against Gwangju, he will have played 508 professional games and 200 for Seoul).
On the morning of the 13th, I traveled to GS Champions Park in Guri, Gyeonggi-do, to catch up with Ki Sung-yong. He had arrived early in the morning to work out and meet with the coaching staff. When I told him that he had already played 200 games, he laughed, saying that he had many thoughts.
He loves to talk about soccer, so if we had enough time, we could have talked about current trends in European soccer, recent national team issues, and the tactical landscape of the K League, but we couldn’t because he had a training session ahead of him. We focused on his soccer life as a “Seoulite,” his feelings about the team, and his current situation, as we were celebrating his 200th game in Seoul.
Here’s the full interview with Ki Sung-yueng.
You’re about to play 200 games for Seoul. How does that feel?
When I came back to Korea, it was 100 games. Now that I’m approaching 200 games, I feel like I’ve played a lot. FC Seoul is the team I’ve played the most games for so far. I think it’s a great privilege to play for Sangam, and I have a lot of different thoughts.
I played 162 games for Swansea, so it’s a club I’ve played for a lot more than that. What does Seoul mean to you?
It was the first team that opened my path in football. I’m grateful to them for allowing me to make my debut and build my career to this point. It’s really old. The training center, the stadium, everything is the same, but I feel like I’ve changed. I shared the highs and lows with this team. It’s a team that I’m grateful for and that shaped my soccer life.
Do you remember your debut against Daegu FC on March 4, 2007?
Of course I remember the game, but I don’t remember exactly what I did. I was very nervous. I still remember the emotions I felt then. The feeling I had when I entered the stadium and warmed up. I wanted to play so badly at the time that I said I only wanted to play once for Sangam, and it was a very precious time. 바카라
When I made my debut, there was Lee Eul-yong in the midfield. Now I play with his son, Lee Tae-seok. (The four starting midfielders were Kim Han-yoon, Lee Min-sung, and Lee Eul-yong, in addition to Ki Sung-yong.)
I realize how much time has passed. When I first went to winter training as a pro, my roommate was Lee Eul-yong.